Professional Organizers Vs. Other Professions

Today is an examination and comparison of several fields. The work a professional organizer does, whether hands-on or assessment is very different from the following fields:

Medical professionals deal with one person’s “body”.  They do not work with the household as a whole unless a toxic condition or infectious illness is present. Medical researchers do some investigation around households, but only work around diseases and medical conditions.

Mental health professionals work with an individual in terms of their emotions and behavior in their office, not in the household. The only recent variant to this is when the therapist makes a house call, such as in the case of hoarders or clients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Mental health professionals do not work with people in their household unless they have a mental health condition.

Social Service workers may make visits for assessment to households, usually when they are involved through emergency or educational measures. This includes Adult or Child Protective Services or Independent Living programs for at-risk individuals.  The focus of the social worker is generally individualized or focused towards the at risk category household members.

Code Enforcement and Fire Prevention officers also can visit a residence, but they need to take the view of the entire structure and community safety. They do not look individually at the people other than in a capacity of health and safety.

Law or Peace officials can enter a residential environment but only when they have legal cause to do so with health and safety of individuals being their concern.

House cleaners work with the physical possessions, but not the person’s behavior, or space planning.

Junk Removal services work to remove the physical possessions but do not work with the person in relation to behavior.

Life or AD/HD coaches generally work with one person, not a household. They do not move possessions or objects around or rearrange a physical space. Most Life and AD/HD coaches do not make residential visits and work only by telephone.

Architects and Interior designers work with designing the space. While they may work with the homeowner (to create the initial space), they are not usually concerned with transitions and its effect on daily behavior patterns and movement of possessions within the environment.

In-Home Care providers work in the residence of the client, and generally only interact with their client, not household members. Some In-Home Caretakers provide light housekeeping services but not rearrangement or provide organizational services for household possessions.

You can also check out my more extensive Profession Comparison chart on my website. (updated 2012)  What does a Residential Professional Organizer do?.

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1 Comment

Filed under Business Marketing Strategies, Knowledge, Organizing, Thinking

One response to “Professional Organizers Vs. Other Professions

  1. Fred

    Terry has an extensive list, but another profession which might impact a professional organizer in certain situations is that of an occupational therapist. Often elderly or disabled individuals who recuperate at home have visits from occupational therapists as well as physical therapists and hygienist assistants. The occupational therapists will make recommendations about the arrangement of the household, such as procedures for making the bed, clearances for the walker/wheelchair, and access to appliances and bathing facilities. Obviously, if the household is cluttered there are safety and mobility issues and corrective action must be taken. All these issues are important because it helps determine if the client will be able to remain at home or has no recourse but to move into an assisted living facility. The hygenist assists the client with bathing, putting on clothes and personal bodily care; this might impact the chronically disorganized who are elderly because if they feel better and are presentable, they might be more prone to be better organized. The physical therapist provides daily exercises so that the client will develop more independent mobility. I’m not a professional organizer, but I did care for my elderly mother under these conditions so I’m very aware of how these professionals help the invalid and elderly.

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